NEWARK, N.J., March 4, 2016 – For gymnastics and sports fans alike, Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., is the place to be March 4-5. The AT&T American Cup, the USA’s most prestigious international invitational and part of the International Gymnastics Federation’s all-around World Cup series, will showcase many of the world’s best gymnasts, including 2015 World team gold-medalists Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Buckeye Gymnastics, also the reigning Olympic all-around champion, and Maggie Nichols of Little Canada, Minn./Twin City Twisters; three-time U.S. all-around champion and 2012 Olympian Sam Mikulak of Newport Beach, Calif./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center); and two-time World medalist Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, Md./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center). The Nastia Liukin Cup features some of the USA’s top Junior Olympic female gymnasts, and 2012 Olympian and three-time World medalist John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center), headlines the nine senior men who will compete with the nation’s best junior elite junior men in the Elite Team Cup.
Fans can come early to Prudential Center for fun activities on the concourse before competition. Olympic gold medalists Shannon Miller and Carly Patterson, along with members of the men’s U.S. National Team, will sign autographs at the interactive Kellogg’s Fitness and Nutrition Zone, and spectators will have the opportunity to take photos with USA Gymnastics’ RIO statue and enjoy other booths and purchase event-specific merchandise.
Limited tickets, ranging in price from $35-$250 plus applicable fees, are still available for the AT&T American Cup. Platinum tickets ($250 plus fees) include a complimentary reserved ticket ($40 value) to the Nastia Liukin Cup on Friday, March 4, and the Elite Team Cup ($40 value) on Saturday, March 5. Ticket prices for both the Nastia Liukin Cup and the Elite Team Cup are $40 for reserved seating and $30 for general admission. All ticket prices are plus applicable fees. Tickets for all three events may be purchased through ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000, at all Ticketmaster outlets and at Prudential Center’s box office.
Nastia Liukin Cup, March 4, 7 p.m.
Ten women in the 2016 Nastia Liukin Cup field of 18 junior and 18 senior Level 10 gymnasts are making return trips to the seventh edition of the competition. Wynter Childers of Spearfish, S.D./Spearfish Gymnastics, Makarri Doggette of Pickerington, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics, and Rachael Lukacs of Hillsborough, N.J. /North Stars Gymnastics Academy, will be competing in their third Nastia Liukin Cup. Making their second trip to the Cup are:Rachel Baumann of Plano, Texas/WOGA; Rachael Flam of Houston, Texas/Stars Gymnastics Houston; Abby Heiskell of Waxhaw, N.C./Southeastern; Alexandria Ruiz of Lake Mary, Fla./ACE Gymnastics; Cassie Stevens of Phoenix, Ariz./Arizona Sunrays; Jenna Swartzentruber of Centerburg, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics; and Abbie Thompson of Sanford, Fla./Orlando Metro Gymnastics.
The seventh-annual Nastia Liukin Cup will take place this Friday, March 4, at 7 p.m. ET at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Featuring 18 junior and 18 senior Level 10 Junior Olympic gymnasts, the Nastia Liukin Cup will showcase gymnasts from 17 states. Ten gymnasts are making return trips to the Nastia Liukin Cup, which is held the night before the AT&T American Cup (March 5 at 11:30 a.m. ET).
Held annually in conjunction with the AT&T American Cup, the Nastia Liukin Cup is named after Nastia Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around champion who has five Olympic and nine World medals to her credit. The annual event features 36 gymnasts who qualify through the Nastia Liukin Cup Series, which includes many of the country’s top invitationals held throughout January and February. The Nastia Liukin Cup made its debut in 2010 in Worcester and returned in 2013.
AT&T American Cup, March 5, 11:30 a.m.
The AT&T American Cup officially kicks off the USA’s Countdown to Rio. The one-day invitational provides a first glimpse at gymnasts from around the world who hope to represent their countries at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this summer. A total of nine men and nine women, representing 11 countries, are vying for the coveted AT&T American Cup title.
Brazil: Lucas De Souza Bitencourt
China: Sun Wei
Great Britain: Nile Wilson
Germany: Andreas Bretschneider
Japan: Ryohei Kato
Korea: Park Minsoo
Switzerland: Pablo Braegger
USA: Samuel Mikulak
USA: Donnell Whittenburg
Brazil: Lorrane Oliveira
Canada: Elsabeth Black
Great Britain: Amy Tinkler
Germany: Tabea Alt
Italy: Carlotta Ferlito
Japan: Mai Murakami
Netherlands: Tisha Volleman
USA: Gabrielle Douglas
USA: Maggie Nichols
USA’s Simone Biles and the Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev won the titles at the 2015 AT&T American Cup. The impressive list of former American Cup champions also includes Bart Conner, Tim Daggett, Paul Hamm, Jonathan Horton, Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Carly Patterson, Danell Leyva, Shannon Miller, Mary Lou Retton, Kurt Thomas, Peter Vidmar, Jordyn Wieber and Kim Zmeskal-Burdette. Past sites for the American Cup include: New York, N.Y. (1976-80, 1982-84, 2004, 2008, 2012); Ft. Worth, Texas (1981, 1996-98); Indianapolis, Ind. (1985); Fairfax, Va. (1986-90, 2003); Orlando, Fla. (1991-94, 2000-02); Seattle, Wash. (1995); St. Petersburg, Fla. (1999); Uniondale, N.Y. (2005); Philadelphia, Pa. (2006); Jacksonville, Fla. (2007, 2011); Hoffman Estates, Ill. (2009); Worcester, Mass. (2010, 2013); and Arlington, Texas (2015).
Elite Team Cup, March 5, 6 p.m.
Making its debut this year, the Elite Team Cup features nine men’s Regional Teams, each consisting of six junior elite gymnasts and one senior elite athlete. John Orozco and his fellow senior elite gymnasts have been assigned to a Regional Team. The seniors will compete alongside the junior elite men, with several titles on the line.
The senior elite gymnasts and their Regional Team assignments, in region order, are: Region 1, Adrian de los Angeles of Long Beach, Calif./University of Michigan; Region 2, John Orozco; Region 3, Stacey Ervin of Taylor, Mich./University of Michigan; Region 4, Drew Moling of Canal Winchester, Ohio/Ohio State University; Region 5, Thomas Hanson of Mesa, Ariz./Arizona State University; Region 6, Joshua Dixon of Los Gatos, Calif./U.S. Olympic Training Center; Region 7, Peter Daggett of East Longmeadow, Mass./University of Oklahoma; Region 8, Kiwan Watts of Richmond, Va./Above the Bar; and Region 9, Douglass Johnson of Los Angeles, Calif./Southern California United. Daggett and Watts are current members of the junior national team but now compete as seniors, and past members of the U.S. National Team are de los Angeles, Dixon and Ervin.
Four U.S. junior all-around medalists are competing on regional teams: Davis Grooms of Katy, Texas/Champions Gymnastics, 15-16 champion; Tanner Justus, Cypress, Texas/Cypress Academy, 15-16 bronze medalist; (tie); Matthew Wenske of Houston, Texas/Cypress Academy, 15-16 bronze medalist (tie) and Junior Elite Level 10 16-year-old champion; and Shane Wiskus of Spring Park, Minn./MHG, 15-16 silver medalist and Junior Elite Level 10 15 bronze medalist. Several 2016 Junior Elite Level 10 all-around champions and medalists are on regional teams: Cameron Bock of Tustin, Calif./SCATS, 15-year-old champion; Nikita Bolotsky of Saint Johnsbury, Vt./Kingdom Gymnastics, 14-year-old silver medalist; Vitaliy Guimaraes of Arvada, Colo./5280 North, 14 year-old champion; Jacob Light of Macungie, Pa./Parkettes Gymnastics, 16-year-old bronze medalist; David Pochinka of Plano, Texas/WOGA, 14-year old bronze medalist; and Alexei Vernyi of Cypress, Texas/Cypress Academy, 15-year-old silver medalist. For the complete junior elite field, please click here.
The inaugural Elite Team Cup will feature nine men’s Regional Teams, each consisting of six junior elite gymnasts and one senior elite athlete. Team scores for the Elite Team Cup will be based on five athletes competing on each event with the top four scores on each event counting. In addition, the top six finishers in the senior all-around standings are vying for prize money: 1. $2,000; 2. $1,500; 3. $1,000; 4. $600; 5. $500; and 6. $400.
Here’s a quick overview of the available opportunities at each of the events. Doors to Prudential Center open 90 minutes before the ticketed start time for the AT&T American Cup and 60 minutes before the ticketed start time for the Nastia Liukin Cup and the Elite Team Cup.
- Kellogg's Fitness and Nutrition Zone, with Miller and Patterson autograph signing. Kids can have fun and gain knowledge about the importance of fitness through the interactive Kellogg's Fitness and Nutrition Zone that features physical activities in building balance, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular exercise, all of which are fundamental to gymnastics. Miller, who won 16 World and Olympic medals in her career, and Patterson, the 2014 Olympic all-around champion, will sign autographs for kids who participate in the zone's activities before each senior session.
- Autograph schedule. One autograph per person will be offered to the first 300 fans.
- March 4, 6-7 p.m. – Carly Patterson, 2004 Olympic all-around champion
- March 5, 10-11:15 a.m. – Shannon Miller, 1996 Olympic team gold medalist with 16 career World and Olympic medals; and US. Men’s National Team members -- 2012 Olympian and 2014 World team bronze-medalist John Orozco, University of Oklahoma’s Peter Daggett and 2015 U.S. junior 17-18 all-around champion Kiwan Watts – and 2016 Winter Cup floor bronze medalist Josh Dixon.
- Autograph schedule. One autograph per person will be offered to the first 300 fans.
- Road to Rio photo opportunities. Fans can pose for photos with the USA Gymnastics interactive RIO statue, which will remain on the concourse for all three competitions. Fans should use #ATTAC2016 and share photos with @USAGYM throughout the weekend.
- Merchandise. Fans can purchase everything gymnastics, including event-specific tees, Under Armour and GK leotards, and more, at merchandise booths on the concourse.
- International Gymnastics Camp. Fans can stop by the International Gymnastics Camp booth to learn about the IGC difference, to take home exciting camp information and cool giveaways, and to meet Olympic & World Champion – and 1996 American Cup silver medalist -- Svetlana Boguinskaia. Staff members are available to speak about the world-class gymnastics training at IGC, the benefits of summer camp for children, and IGC’s incredible recreation activities.
- 2016 P&G Senior Men’s Gymnastics Championships and Secret U.S. Classic. Scheduled for Hartford, Conn., June 3-5, the three-day event features the two-day P&G Championships, the national championships for senior men’s gymnastics, and the Secret U.S. Classic, the final women’s qualifier for the P&G Women’s Gymnastics Championships. Information on tickets and other event details will be available.
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International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). The International Gymnastics Federation is the governing body for gymnastics worldwide. It is the oldest established international sports federation and has participated in the Olympic Games since their revival in 1896. The FIG governs seven disciplines: gymnastics for all, men's artistic, women's artistic, rhythmic, trampoline, aerobic and acrobatic. It counts 142 national member federations and boasts a 27-person staff at its international seat in Lausanne, Switzerland, host city of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). For more information, go to www.fig-gymnastics.com.
USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and Gymnastics for All (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, log on to www.usagym.org.
Prudential Center. Prudential Center is a world-class sports and entertainment venue located in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Opened in October 2007, the state-of-the-art arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) three-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall University’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball program, and more than 175 concerts, family shows and special events each year. Ranked in the Top 10 nationally by Pollstar, Billboard and Venues Today, Prudential Center is recognized as one of the premier venues in the United States, and welcomes 1.75 million guests annually. For more information about Prudential Center, visit PruCenter.com and Facebook, and follow @PruCenter on Twitter.